Thursday, December 3, 2009

Politicizing the Public Square (con.)

My last post suggested that we must allow diversity of viewpoint, if we want our Republic to survive the "cultural wars". The Establishment clause did NOT discriminate against relgious freedom, but neither did it discriminate against any other form of "being in the world". So, religion cannot be established by the government, that means a certain tradition being sanctioned under governmental power. But, religious people can form the views and opinions and have a right to assemble about political goals. This is appropriate in a free society.

We do not discriminate based upon one's choice of commitment, whether that be to one's vocation, one's spouse (except in the case of homosexuality), one's religious views, or one's political views. We are a society that believes in liberty, as our unifying identity.

Today, though the Church wants to implement its views into our courts and legislate what everyone should do. Legislation is not about character, but about conscience and values. Instead of winning the "war" with persuasion, the Church wants to control behavior legally.

Whenever one attempts to control another's behavior, there is a lack of ethical character that I think trumps the concern that the religious try to impose. One size does not fit all, as Americans are not all believers. And even believers differ in many ways from other believers in their opinons and convictions. There is diversity and this is a strength, if we hold to the ideal of tolerance, and not some form of ideology that defines what life and liberty MUST mean.

Our Founders were not all in agreement as to their personal religious "commitments' and beliefs, and they found a way to form our government around the ideals that define "freedom for Americans". Those who disagree with what is or has been legislated have an open forum in the public square to voice their opinon. But, all who voice thier opinion should also know that there should be equal access of time to those who have a different view.

What would our nation look like if we could disagree and tolerate, holding to the ideals of liberty and justice for all, not just a segmented or identified part, but for ALL of us. Would that be more like "heaven on earth"?

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